Mame Diene

Laureate 2008

Mame Diene

SENEGAL
Bioessence
COSMETICS
ENVIRONMENT
A local laboratory promoting the finest African cosmetics and essential oils.

For generations, African women have been soothing and nourishing their skin with shea butter - a moisturising paste derived from the revered shea nut. Senegal has an abundance of shea trees, but lacks the infrastructure to capitalise on this so-called 'African gold'. Most of Senegal's shea nuts are processed at low grades or sent abroad to be manufactured by foreign companies.

Mame Diene, a business school graduate from Dakar, hopes to reverse this trend through her company, Bioessence. Founded in 2005, Bioessence produces and distributes cosmetic products since 2007 made from shea butter and other local ingredients, such as mango butter and baobab oil, to Senegalese and international markets.

"In Africa, people believe in the magical properties of the balms and lotions we put on our skin," says Mame, who received her Masters of Information Systems from the University of Glasgow. "What Bioessence tries to do is to take that magic and, using rigorous scientific methods, put it into our products."

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